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Miscellaneous representations 
Our concerns in America 

Presented to the 


by the 




250 copies printed 


ifcellaneous Reprefentatiofii --f i $ 


. . 

U s 


Submitted [in 1761] to the EARL OF BUTE, 
by HENRY M'CULLOH. Now firft 
printed from the Original MS., with 
Biographical and Hiftorical Introduction 
by WM. A. SHAW, Editor of the c Calendar 
of T'reafury Books and Papers ' 


Dealer in Economics, Hiftorical Works, &c. 

-. ; ' V i:'- ' 


?. :;,.- 


Edinburgh : T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty 


HE author of this tract was 
responsible for the financial 
proposal which provoked the 
American War of Independ- 
ence. If the reference to the 
Stamp Duties, which will be found on 
p. 1 2 infra^ stood alone, it might be possible 
to treat the writer as an irresponsible 
pamphleteer. But there are official 
papers among the Treasury Records at 
the Public Record Office and among the 
Newcastle and Hardwicke papers at the 
British Museum which establish Henry 
M'Culloh's claim to consideration as 
something much more than an irre- 
sponsible pamphleteer. The extracts 
which are here printed from these records 
prove conclusively that George Grenville 
was not the author or parent of the 
proposal to extend the Stamp Duties to 
the American Colonies ; but that he 
took it ready cut and dried from the 
hands of an official, just as any modern 
minister does at the Hands of the per- 


manent officials of his department. It 
is one of the ironies of history that the 
permanent official, the man who works 
in the dark, the one person who is in 
very truth the wire-puller, should pass 
away unnoticed, leaving his personal 
record almost untraceable, whilst the re- 
sponsible minister, the mere puppet who 
dances to his directions, should have the 
fierce light of publicity beating ever upon 
him, should bear through all time the 
blame or praise for proposals for which 
he was merely the mouthpiece. It is so 
in this particular case. No one knows 
the name of Henry M'Culloh, and his 
personal record is most difficult to trace, 
whilst Grenville's name is held up to 
execration in every text-book. 

It is probable that at the outset of his 
official career M'Culloh was connected 
with the Custom House, or he may have 
been in the Plantation Office. There 
are references to him as early as 1733 
in the Treasury Records, and he had 
apparently acquired an exact knowledge 
of the financial affairs of the American 
Colonies. In 1738 he submitted to the 
Treasury two memorials concerning the 
Carolina quit rents, in which he laid bare 
the frauds which were practised in the 



disposal of lands and the collection of 
the quit rents there, and petitioned to be 
employed in the improvement of the said 
revenue. (See Treasury Board Papers, 
vol. ccxcviii., No. 38, and Colonial Office 
Records : Plantations General^ vol. xii., 
No. 30.) The application was successful, 
for in the following year he was appointed 
Inspector for improving quit rents in 
North and South Carolina (Treasury 
minute of appointment dated January 2, 
1738-9, royal warrant of appointment 
dated May 16, 1739). The instructions 
which were given to him for guidance 
in this employment are appended to the 
royal warrant, and may be read in the 
Kings Warrant Book : Treasury, vol. xxxiii. 
pp. 281-91. It is clear that his duties 
brought him into sharp conflict with both 
populace and officials in the Carolinas, for 
the officials were as deep in the frauds 
connected with the grants of lands as the 
colonists themselves. A very interesting 
account of his experiences is contained in 
a series of papers which he forwarded 
to the Treasury in November 1741 
(Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers, 
vol. iv. p. 503). In these papers he 
styles himself Commissioner for super- 
vising, inspecting, and controlling His 


Majesty's revenues and grants of lands in 
the Province of South Carolina. It is 
also clear from the letters which will 
be noticed below that the provincials 
managed to starve him out. His salary 
was payable out of quit rents ; that is, out 
of such seizures as he should make. As 
in the course of a few years he was in 
arrear many hundreds of pounds with 
that salary, it may be inferred that the 
Colonists contrived to make his office of 
none avail, prevented discoveries and 
seizures, and so left him without a fund 
out of which his salary could be paid, 
and thus reduced him to extremities. In 
March 1744-5 he petitioned the Treasury 
to allow him to return to England, and 
that his salary might be paid out of the 
Four-and-a-half per cent. duty. This 
latter proposal the Treasury Lords de- 
clined to accede to (Calendar of Treasury 
Books and Papers^ vol. v. p. 674). 

After the New Englanders had captured 
Louisbourg in 1745 M'Culloh seems to 
have been transferred thither, for he sub- 
sequently describes himself as Naval 
Officer at Cape Breton. On the 2qth 
of October 1746 he writes to Andrew 
Stone, of the Duke of Newcastle's Office, 
that he is proposing to sail at once from 



London to take up his new duty. ' The 
Foulston man-of-war will sail the latter 
end of this week, in which I propose to 
go passenger to Virginia and so proceed 
to Cape Breton as soon *as I can,' and as 
his employment is new in that place, he 
asks for letters of recommendation from 
Stone, c without which I may not be well 
looked upon by the Governor : I rely 
wholly upon your friendship for my 
support ' (Newcastle Papers, Addit. MSS. 
32,709, p. 119). 

But at the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle 
in 1748 Cape Breton was given back to 
the French, and M'Culloh found himself 
out of employment. At the time when 
his letters in the Newcastle Papers 
begin he had been out of employment 
for upwards of four years, and he is be- 
sieging the Duke with applications for 
relief. The place he specially desired 
was the reversion to the Secretaryship of 
North Carolina, c when there is a further 
account of Mr. Rice's death, who was 
given over by the physicians, when the last 
ship came from thence the 27th January 
last, with the gout in his bowels and 
stomach ' (H. M'Culloh to the Duke of 
Newcastle, 26th March 1753, Addit. 
MSS. 32,731, p. 410). 

b But 

But in this application M'Culloh 
reckoned without his host. Poor Mr. 
Rice did not die immediately of the 
gout in his bowels, and further, the 
petitioner experienced somewhat ill-tem- 
pered treatment at the hands of the Earl 
of Halifax, who was then President of the 
Board of Trade. On the 6th of April 
i753M c Culloh writes thus to the Duke: 

' I waited of Lord Halifax (in your Grace's 
name) yesterday, and I informed his Lordship 
of the death of the Secretary of North Carolina, 
which he was pleased to tell me he knew before, 
and asked me what of that, and was in a violent 
passion with me, and told me he was surprised 
that I kept running teasing your Grace so 
after [his] formerly telling me his resolution 
upon the first affair ; and further insisted that 
I had never given your Grace in the state of 
the former affair, and that I asked everything, 
and that he supposed I wanted twenty places, 
and that I was one of those sort of people 
that could never be contented. I humbly 
beg'd his Lordship would be pleased to con- 
sider the great hardships of my case by my 
great loss of time, and I hop'd as he was 
no way engaged in this before your Grace's 
application for me, that he would be pleased to 
give me this or the first as either of them he 
thought proper wou'd content me, but his 
Lordship was far from giving me any promise 
or the least hopes.' (Ibid., p. 338.) 



The other place to which M'Culloh 
here refers was the naval office of the 
Lower District of James's River in Vir- 
ginia. On the 22nd of June of the same 
year, 1753, he writes to the Duke as 
follows : 

' Lord Halifax promised Mr. Conolly that 
he would give me either the naval office of the 
lower district of James's river in Virginia or 
the Secretaryship of North Carolina, and that 
until he gave me the one he would keep them 
both open. The season being now far advanced 
it will be dangerous soon to go on the American 
coast, and unless something be done shortly it 
will be impossible for me to get out this year. 
And I have reason to fear his Lordship will 
not come to any determination which of those 
places he will give me until he hears from the 
Governor of Virginia. The many years I have 
been unemployed since the surrender of Cape 
Breton, and now this great uncertaintity in point 
of time, lays me under the greatest difficulties 
to support myself together with a wife and 
numerous family, which makes me now most 
humbly implore your Grace ... to speak to 
Mr. Pelham that he will be pleased to grant 
me a small sum of money for a present relief 
untill I succeed, which is the only means and 
hopes I now have left to preserve my little 
family and self from utter ruin. Last year 
Mr. Stone was so good at the request of Mr. 
Conolly to apply to Mr. Pelham on the same 



subject in my behalf, in answer to which Mr. 
Pelham told him it could not be done in His 
Majesty's absence, but when he returned he 
would do everything in his power to serve 
Mr. Conolly.' (Addit. MSS. 32,732, p. 86, 
and a further letter relating to the same subject 
in Addit. MSS. 32,731, p. 177, of date Feb. 13, 

In the Court and City Register Mr. 
Nathan Rice appears as the Secretary of 
North Carolina in the year 1756. If this 
was the same Mr. Rice who was troubled 
with the gout in his bowels, it would 
appear that he lingered on for some three 
years after the above applications of Mr. 
M'Culloh. But in the year 1757 Henry 
M'Culloh appears in the same Register 
as Secretary and Clerk of the Crown for 
North Carolina, so that his long period 
of anxious waiting had evidently been 
rewarded at last. In the succeeding 
volumes of the Court and City Register 
he occupies the same post in the years 
1758 and 1760. The year 1759 is blank 
he was possibly in England on fur- 
lough. The year 1761 is also blank, 
possibly also for the same reason. Then 
in the year 1762, and so thenceforward, 
Thomas Falkner appears as Secretary 
of North Carolina. In March 1761 


M c Culloh was living at Turnham Green, 
and he was certainly in London during the 
greater part of 1763. This is the last bio- 
graphical fact which I have been able to 
ascertain about M'Culloh. But there are 
a few references to him during this last 
period of his life which transcend all the 
others in historical importance. In Feb- 
ruary and March 1756 he petitions the 
Duke of Newcastle for relief in connec- 
tion with the meeting of the bills drawn 
on the Receiver of the quit rents in South 
Carolina (Addit. MSS. 32,862, p. 394 ; 
32,863, p. 316; 32,864, p. 536; 32,866, 
pp. 156, 357). And in the following 
year he submits to the Duke a proposal 
for the introduction of Exchequer Bills of 
Union into the Colonies, with the object 
of enabling the provincial (that is, colo- 
nial) soldier to pass from province to 
province without having to use the local 
provincial bills (Addit. MSS. 32,874, p. 
308). This proposal was an eminently 
practical one, and would have had an 
effect much wider than M'Culloh in- 
tended, had it been carried out. His 
purpose was simply to remove the one 
great obstacle to the general recruiting 
and service of the colonial soldier, but if 
carried out it must certainly have had the 



effect gradually of driving out the various 
paper currencies of the Colonies, and re- 
placing them by English Exchequer Bills 
and bank-notes. Important as this pro- 
posal however was, it passes into insignifi- 
cance by the side of the proposals which 
he advanced in the years 1761 to 1763. 
The first form of these proposals is doubt- 
less contained in the present tract, the 
immediate object of which was twofold, 
viz. firstly, to convince Bute of the value 
of the Canadian possessions, and so raise a 
voice against the idea of giving back to 
France either Canada or Guadeloupe with- 
out some equivalent in the negotiations 
which ultimately resulted in the Treaty of 
Paris ; and secondly, to suggest some source 
of taxation by which the Colonies could be 
made to contribute a quota to the cost of 
the late war. The proof of the deep 
impression which M'Culloh's paper made 
is contained in the Hardwicke Papers 
at the British Museum. Under date roth 
October 1763 there is a long tabular state- 
ment running to twelve folio sheets, con- 
taining an exact scheme of the articles to 
be included in a Stamp Act. It is en- 
titled C A state of the several articles 
proposed by Mr. M'Culloh to be stamped, 
and the duties thereon ; likewise a state of 



all the different articles which are now 
stamped in Great Britain, in order to fix 
upon the articles which are to be inserted 
in the law intended for imposing Stamp 
duties in America and the West Indies/ 
This paper is drawn up in three 
columns, the first giving c the present 
English duties/ the second giving c duties 
proposed by Mr. M'Culloh,' and the third 
giving ' duties intended by the Treasury.' 
On the back of the last sheet is the 
important indorsement, ' loth October 
1763, was presented to Mr. Greenvill, who 
approved it' (Addit. MSS. 35,910, p. 137). 
In another volume of the Hardwicke 
Papers there is a further paper relating 
to the same transaction, and dated only 
two days later. It is entitled ' Minutes 
and observations taken in conference with 
Mr. M'Culloh upon considering of his 
scheme for an American Stamp law. To 
be considered with the said scheme by the 
Board of Stamps,pursuant to the [Treasury] 
Commissioners' order, dated 3oth Sep- 
tember 1763, in order for the perusal of 
the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.' 
This paper is indorsed c Draft of confer- 
ence with Mr. M'Culloh, I2th October 
1763. Copy for the Board [of Stamps] 7 
(Addit. MSS. 36,226, p. 357). 



It must be clearly borne in mind that 
what is here asserted as to Henry M'Cul- 
loh's responsibility for the proposal of an 
American Stamp Act, relates only to the 
actual introduction of that proposal into 
the domain of practical politics. As to 
how far the idea was in very truth an 
invention of his at this time, or was an 
adaptation by him of older proposals of 
which he may have been cognisant in his 
official career many years before, we can- 
not say. But in all such matters the 
name which the Muse chronicles for fame 
or infamy in the temple of human history 
is not that of the inventor who first 
originates an idea, but that of the prac- 
tical man who first brings that idea into 
direct relation with the needs of this or 
that particular conjunction of events in 
human life. For this reason Henry 
M'Culloh is justly entitled to the fame 
or infamy of being the one man respon- 
sible for the proposition which led to the 
revolt of the American Colonies. 


The original manuscript from which the present tract is 
printed was purchased at Sotheby's. It formed Lot 407 
in the sale of Feb. 17, 1905. The previous history of the 
MS. I have been quite unable to trace. It is now in the 
possession of the publisher. 



Our Concerns in 

|N Order to form a right 
Judgment of the Import- 
ance of Canada, with 
refpeft to it's Trade and 
Commerce, it may be proper to 
confider an Eftimate of the Profits 
which heretofore accrued to France, 
from the faid Commerce. 

The Furr and Skin Trades was 
farmed out to particular Perfons, 


who thereby had an exclufive Right 
to the {aid Trade; and the Cou- 
rieurs des Bois a&ed under Licenfes, 
which they purchafed from them : 
the Amount of which Trade, 
according to the beft Informa- 
tion I have been able to get, 
was one Year with another, about 

Their Trade in Shipbuilding, 
Corn, Tobacco, and Lumber, fent 
to France and to their Iflands, 
amounted to about ^180,000 
per Ann. 

Their Fifliery at Cape Breton, 
the Coafts of Gafpefie, and the 
Coafts of Newfoundland, amounted 
to upwards of ^400,000 more 
per Ann. 

The Freight upon all the afore- 
faid Trade, upon a moderate Com- 
putat n amounted to upwards of 
^220,000 per Ann. And there 
were annually employed in the 



{aid Fifliery and Trade, upwards 
of 9000 Seamen. 

In this View of the French Trade 
from Canada and the Parts adja- 
cent, it will be found, that, after all 
the immenfe Expence the French 
Government put themfelves to, in 
fupporting that Colony, the princi- 
pal Advantages arifing to them 
therefrom was in the Fifliery, and 
in having a large Nurfery for Sea- 
men: But their Views extended 
further, as their Defign was to 
form a Line of Communication be- 
tween Canada and Miffifippi ; and 
if poffible afterwards to open fome 
Ports upon the Weftern Ocean. 
But as they have mifcarried in thofe 
Views ; and that we have now the 
Government of Canada in our Pof- 
feilion, it may be proper to inquire 
into the Situation of the French in 
the Miflifippi or Louifiana Govern- 
ment, and to endeavour to demon- 



ftrate, that, if they even ceded to 
us the whole Governm' of Canada, 
and afterwards exerted their whole 
Force in the Louifiana Govern- 
ment, they would be ftill able to 
annoy us, and to carry on a large 
and extenfive Trade with the Indian 
Nations, which border upon the 5 
Great Lakes, as well as thofe which 
lie between the Miffifippi and the 
Apalatian Mountains. 

Before the French made any 
Settlement on the Miffifippi, the 
Indian Trade as before obferved 
was farmed out to private Perfons 
who refided in the Canada Govern- 
ment ; and feveral of thofe Farms 
were hereditary : which excluded 
thofe in the Miffifippi Government 
from having any Share in the Trade 
in Skins and Furrs with the Oua- 
bacs ; the Illinefe ; the Kikapefe ; 
the Puants; the Outagamefe; the 



Malamonefe ; or any of the Indian 
Nations to the North and North 
Eaft of the Miffifippi. But it is to 
be prefumed that if the French 
ceded to us the whole Government 
of Canada, they would renew their 
Licences to fuch as live in the 
Province of Louifiana, and ufe all 
the Methods in their Power to 
cultivate a Friendship with the {aid 
Indians. And confidering the 
great Emnity that has always fub- 
fifted between the Nations of 
Indians in their Intereft, and in 
ours, it is more than probable that 
the French would be ftill able to 
continue the faid Indians in their 
Inter eft ; and to make ufe of them 
in annoying our Frontier Settle- 
ments, unlefs we fortify and navi- 
gate three of the 5 Great Lakes ; 
which may be a good and effectual 
Means, under proper Regulations in 



the Indian Trade, to draw feveral 
of the faid Indians into our Views 
and Intereft. 

In this Light as conceived it will 
appear, that, if the French are left 
in Pofleflion of Louifiana, our hav- 
ing PofTeffion of Canada will not 
free our Frontier Settlements from 
being annoyed by the Indians, un- 
lefs we regulate our Commerce 
with them, and fortify the Lakes : 
and that if wee have Pofleflion of 
the Lakes and the Territories be- 
longing thereto, and alfo the whole 
Province of Acadia, the Remainder 
of Canada exclufive of the Fifliery 
is not an Object of any great 
Moment to this Kingdom. 

Guardeloupe is an Ifland of 
great Importance, and capable of 
Improvement ; and yet if it fhould 
be ceded to us, the French Settlers 
having a Right to all the Lands in 



faid Ifland, and being from their 
religious as well as political Prin- 
ciples ftrongly prejudiced in favour 
of France, great Part of the Advan- 
tages arifing from faid Ifland would 
from thofe Caufes center in France ; 
and many Kinds of French Com- 
modities might be introduced 
among them by means of their 
Connections with the neighbour 8 
French Iflands. And it might 
not only have an ill Effect in this 
Refped, but the f d Ifland might 
alfo be made a Storehoufe for the 
Introduction of many French Goods 
amongft the Englifh Settlements in 
the Weft Indies, and on the Main 
of America. Therefore, I appre- 
hend that if the 4 neutral Iflands of 
St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Dominica, 
and Tobago (in which we have a 
Foundation of Right) were entirely 
furrendered to us, it might have a 
better Effet, than even the keeping 



of Guardeloupe upon the aforefaid 
Terms. And if the Lands fettled 
by the French in the faid Iflands 
were difpofed of, in the Manner 
the French Lands were in St. 
Chriftophers, they wou'd produce 
feveral hundred thoufand Pounds 
to the Crown. 

Goree and Senegall are not of 
that Importance the Public con- 
fidered them at firft, yet, in many 
Refpe6ts, it might be for our Intereft 
to continue them in our Pofleffion ; 
but if it is thought neceffary upon 
any future Treaty to furrender them 
to the French, as humbly conc d , 
great Care fhould be taken to word 
it, fo as to prevent the French 
from claiming an exclufive Right 
of trading along that Coaft. And 
as the French have for many Years 
claimed an exclufive Trade to the 
Gum Coaft, great Care fhould like- 



wife be taken to regulate their Pre- 
tenfions on that Head. 

The Acquisitions we have made 
in the Eaft Indies, are of great 
Importance, even more than is 
generally conceived. For, as we 
are enlarging our Settlements in 
America, and as the Planters there, 
as they grow rich, increafe in 
Luxury and txpence, it will be 
found, that America will in time 
be a moft profitable Mart for the 
Commodities of the Eaft, and that 
vaft Quantities of them will be 
confumed there. 

Under this general View of 
Things it will appear evident, that 
as a trading Nation, it is our In- 
tereft to preferve Part of moft of 
the Acquifitions we have made, 
and not to be content with any one 
Part, (fuch as Canada) in confidera- 
tion of all the Reft. Efpecially, 
B as 


as the enlarging our Footing in 
diftant Parts of the World will 
enlarge our Navigation, and aflift 
us in our general Commerce by 
making one Part of Ufe in the 
Improvement of another. 

By the Treaty of Utretch, there 
was a great Enlargement intended 
to our Territories in America ; by 
allowing us all the Lands which of 
right then belonged to the 5 Indian 
Nations, which included the 5 
Great Lakes and the Territories 
thereunto belonging : but by ne- 
gle&ing to form a Syftem in 
American Affairs, all the Advan- 
tages which might have arifen to 
us, by wife and proper Regulations, 
were loft ; and the French were 
thereby encouraged to make thofe 
Incroachments which gave rife to 
the prefent War. Therefore as the 
want of Syftem was the main Inlett 
to the prefent War, if we do not 


regulate, or eftablifti a proper Courfe 
or Rule of Proceeding, all the Ad- 
vantages we fondly hope for, will 
vanifti into Air. And in the Con- 
fideration of this Point, there are 
feveral Matters to be attended to, 
which have a neceffary Connexion 
with, and Dependance upon each 
other. So, that if any one Part is 
negle&ed, the whole may fall to 
the Ground. 

The I st is, To afcertain our 
Bounds in America, and to have 
the Sovereignity of the Indians, who 
fall within the faid Bounds. 

Secondly, To form a Syftem in 
Indian Affairs, in regulating the 
Trade carried on with them ; in 
which, particular Care ought to be 
taken to have all the Colonies aft 
upon one Syftem. And as it will 
require considerable Sums to make 
Prefents to the Indians, and to 
put thofe Concerns upon a proper 


Footing, it will be absolutely necef- 
fary to eftablifh proper Funds in 
America, by a Stamp Duty on 
Vellum and Paper; and alfo by 
regulating and lowering the Duties 
upon French Rum and Molafles. 

Thirdly, If Funds are eftablifhed 
to anfwer the Expence of the 
Government in America, it will be 
alfo neceflary to regulate the Cur- 
rency in the refpe&ive Colonies, 
and to have it the fame in all. 
And if this is done, it becomes 
equally neceflary, to regulate the 
Courfe to be obferved in collecting 
and accompting for the Revenues 
in America; as there are at pre- 
fent Openings for many fhamefull 

Fourthly, As all lefler Syftems 
muft depend upon the Syftem ob- 
ferved in the Mother Country, no- 
thing propofed can have it's due 
Effed, unlefs the Offices abroad are 



fo regulated as to tranfmit every 
Matter of Importance, either with 
refpeft to the Revenue or any 
other Matter in America, to the 
Plantation Office : And then, the 
Succefs of the whole depends upon 
the R< Hon bl the Lords of Trade 
and Plantations making a due and 
full Report to the Crown of all 
Matters that come under their In- 
fpe&ion. For, if the Channels of 
Information can be obftru&ed, or 
varied by different Modes of Appli- 
cation, it will leave Room for Con- 
nections which may defeat the 
whole of what is propofed. 

Fifthly, In the forming of new 
Syftems of Government in diftant 
Colonies, many Difficulties may 
arife with refped to the Preroga- 
tives of the Great Boards here ; 
therefore, as humbly conceived, if 
anything of this Nature takes effeft, 
it muft arife from the Wifdom and 


Goodnefs of the Sovereign, in 
appointing a Special Committee 
for thofe Purpofes.* 

The Syftem of the Great Offices 
here, with refpeft to America, 
ought likewife to be attended to; 
for, if our Courfe of Proceeding at 
Home is found to be irregular, it 
is impoflible to redrefs the Griev- 
ances compl d of in America. 
Whereupon I pray leave to obferve, 
that by the Syftem or Courfe of 
Proceeding in the Exchequer, the 
Lord High Treafurer or Treafury 
[Lords] when in Commiflion, have 
not (as h bly conc d ) a Power to take 
Cognizance of any Matter but what 
is properly within the View of the 
faid Court. And from this Caufe 
it was, that all the Officers em- 
ployed in the Collection of the 


* In 1667, Special Committees were appointed 
for Matters of State and Grievances, and if renewed 
may be of Infinite Ufe in eftablifhing a System of 
Action in American Affairs. 

Revenues of the Crown in Nor- 
mandy, were obliged to accompt 
in the Exchequer ; as the Lord 
High Treafurer was not at that 
Time thought to have any Power or 
Direction over fuch Officers as were 
not brought within the View of the 
s d Court. But from Cuftom of long 
{landing, and from the Want of 
forming a Syftem in American 
Affairs, the Receivers of His Ma- 
jefty's Chief Rents in America, and 
the Auditor General of the Planta- 
tions are not brought within the 
View of the Exchequer, nor is there 
any regular Check or Reftraint 
upon the faid Officers, so as 
effectually to guard the Revenues 
of the Crown, and the Property 
of the Subject. And there are 
Openings left whereby they may be 
at liberty to do many Ats both 
prejudicial to the Rights of the 
Crown, and thofe of private Perfons. 


Now as the Auditor General of 
the Plantations, and the Receivers 
of His Majefty's Chief Rents in 
America, do not give in Bond in 
the Exchequer for the due Execu- 
tion of the Truft repofed in them ; 
nor bring in their Accompts to be 
paffed and cleared according to the 
Rules of the faid Court, it puts it 
in the Power of the faid Officers, 
to opprefs and harrafs fuch Perfons 
as may be liable to their Refent- 
ment. A recent Inftance of which 
may be given in a prefent Attempt 
ag st me. 

There is another Thing, which 
as humbly conceived, ought to be 
carefully attended to, and which 
has hitherto flood in need of great 
Redrefs ; viz' That in Petitions of 
Complaint arifing in America, there 
is no fettled Courfe of Proceeding 
with refpeft to the Method or 
Form which ought to be obferved. 



As they are at prefent ufually 
referred, and put into a Courfe of 
Juftice, without firft examining 
(which as conceived, fhould always 
be done) whether the Perfons pre- 
ferring the Complaints are pro- 
perly Parties, and aggrieved by the 
Matters complained of; or in Cafe 
the Complaint arifes from Officers 
of the Crown, whether the Matters 
complained of come properly 
within the View of their refpe&ive 
Offices. The Omifllon of which 
previous Examination is often pro- 
ductive of great Injury to the 
Innocent ; and leaves an Opening 
for many litigeous and ill difpofed 
Perfons to injure fuch as are ex- 
pofed to their Refentment. For 
altho' the Matters may be really 
falfe, yet the Delay and Expence 
given in getting rid of fuch falfe 
Charges, may prove ruinous to the 
Innocent Party accufed. And for 
C this 

i* - -',; ' ' '' 

this Evil, there is not, as I know 
of, any Remedy or Compenfation : 
For the Courts of Law in the 
Plantations cannot take Cogniz- 
ance of a Matter which has under- 
gone the Confiderat 11 of the Council 
Board ; nor does His Majefty in 
Council ever grant Damages in 
thofe Cafes to the Party aggrieved ; 
nor do Matters of this Nature come 
within the Rules or Redrefs of our 
Courts of Law here. And this 
Courfe of Proceeding has ftill a 
further ill Tendency : For when 
Factions are raifed againft His 
Majefty 's Governors in the Planta- 
tions, if fuch factious Perfons pro- 
ceed in an undue and irregular 
Manner, it is in fad a Sufpenfion 
of the Gov rs Power, and obftruds 
him in the Execut n of his Duty. 
Therefore if the Complaints againft 
Governors arife only from fuch 
as have received no immediate 



Damages thereby ; or if the Matters 
complained of are only from loofe 
and general Suggeftions, in thefe 
Cafes, as humbly conc d , there fhould 
be the greateft Care taken to dif- 
countenance and filence fuch Re- 
ports, and to put a flop to them in 
the firft Inftance. But, on the 
other Hand, if any Perfons were 
really injured by the Gov rs ading 
contrary to his Inftru&ions, or by 
his obftruding the due and legal 
Courfe of Bufinefs,the Subject ought 
to meet with Encouragement and 
Releif. But in order to do this, 
and to diftinguifti properly between 
thofe who have been oppreffed, and 
thofe who aft from factious Prin- 
ciples, all Complaints fhould be 
originally lodged at the Plantation 
Office, where the Records from 
the Plantations are fuppofed to 
center. And this feems to have been 
the Intention of Lord Sommers in 


his Plan of a Board of Commerce, 
and of the Crown in making all the 
principal Officers of State extra 
Members of the faid Board. 

The preferring of Petitions of 
Complaint to His Majefty in 
Council, or to the King by the 
Hands of the Secretary of State, 
and afterwards referring them to the 
Plantation Office, may in many 
Cafes have an ill Effed, as it is 
apprehended, that the R' Hon bl the 
Lords for Trade and Plantation, 
are thereby in a great Meafure 
limited with refpedt to their Report: 
As they have not, (and as humbly 
conc d cannot upon thofe Occafions) 
reported upon any Matter that is 
not within fuch References. But 
in the other Courfe of Proceeding, 
as their Lordfliips would judge by 
the Records, they would be able 
to diftinguifh properly between 
Complaints which arife from Op- 



preffion, and thofe which arife from 
factious Principles. 

By a Statute of 38 th Edward 
the 3 d , Chapt. the 9 th , it is enacted, 
that whofoever made Complaints 
to the King, and could not prove 
them againft the Defendant, fhould 
be imprifoned, until he fatiffied the 
Damages and the Slander fuffered 
upon fuch Occafions, and after 
make Fine and Ranfom to the 
King. There is likewife a Statute 
of the n th and 12 th W m the 3 d for 
the Punifhment of bad Conduct in 
His Majefty's Gov rs which wants 
much to be explained. The firft- 
mentioned Statute cannot now be 
put in force, becaufe fuch Matters 
were originally determinable before 
the King in Council, or before the 
Star Chamber. But thefe Ads, 
if renewed and enforced, under 
proper Regulations, might have an 
exceeding good Effet with refped 


to the Courfe of Proceeding in 
Complaints preferred to His Majefty 
in Council. And if the Regulations 
above mentioned are carried into 
Execution, it will be likewife 
necefTary to obtain a Law to 
enable the Sovereign to punifli 
all fuch Officers of the Crown as 
deviate from their Duty under 
fuch Regulations.